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Saying Goodbye

June 27, 2015

I cannot concentrate on anything more than a few minutes, because there is so much to think about lately.  This week has probably been one of the busiest weeks of my life, not because I over scheduled myself or my family, but because this week has involved every part of me, every center of my brain.  Sunday was our last Sunday at church, Father’s Day, which we celebrated with a big brunch with our two closest couples (all of going to Congo).  Monday and Tuesday we finished exams and continued packing.  The rest of the week was a blur of packing, uprooting, closing accounts, saying goodbye, cleaning, organizing, discovering news (good, bad, surprising), graduating, and lots of good discussion.

We had the lovely privilege of hosting our regional Africa director in our apartment the last two days.  He is a really great guy and it was good to spend time with him.  He was interested in visiting with us and the other MAF couple here, Dave & Ashley Petersen.  He wanted to encourage us by attending our graduation.  He was able to see how the language school has changed (or not) since the last time MAF sent missionaries here more than 20 years ago, including a meeting with Matthew and the school’s management.  He was able to share wisdom about life in Congo and about his vision and hope for the ministry there.  Overall, it was a wonderful time.  Yes, hectic in the midst of packing and cleaning, but a really quality weekend.

In the middle of all of this, Axel has had a very rough week.  He had a fever for a day, but our pediatrician give him the okay.  However, his attitude was rough – he was frantic and angry and seemed like he was overtired or in pain.  During this week of being so busy, he was not sleeping.  After a particularly rough night, Matthew and I both described it as the worst night of sleep we’ve had as parents…ever!  Including the infant stage!  It’s been rough and ragged.  This afternoon, after a good morning, he was back to acting out and really seeming out of sorts and we just went outside.  It was hot, so we set up the kiddy pool.  We have rented a car for our last two weeks in Europe, so Matthew and Dave grabbed some meat at the store and we had a BBQ.  Axel was totally normal.  You guys…my dear little person is stressed!  He sees the packing and the changes, and feels our stress, and he canNOT deal with it!  Please pray for him.  It’s great to be confident that nothing is wrong with him medically, but his stress is real.  I am glad we took the afternoon and evening to relax for his sake.  Soon this stage of moving will be over, but for now, it is stressful for him.  And, as I write this, he is SLEEPING.

And, lastly, the goodbyes have started.  Some are easy, but others are quite difficult.  We have lived here for ten months, seeing the same people every day, going through the same rigors of learning this crazy-hard language, and just like that…we graduated and we’re done.  In three weeks, the only people in my life that will be the same are Matthew and the kids.  But, it is a cool thought that by the end of summer, Africa (and parts of France) will have about 40 new missionaries, placed for Kingdom action.  That makes these ten intense months of learning and togetherness worthwhile.

And that is, really, what it’s all about…et on commence (French: and we begin)!

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